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Thread: New phone time: old-school

  1. #1
    Storage? I am Storage! Tannin's Avatar
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    New phone time: old-school

    My ancient dumb phone is getting tired. For reasons unknown, sound quality is getting slowly worse and people often have trouble hearing me. I need to replace it.

    Now I could get another dumb phone, but I am open to the idea of venturing into the current century. Maybe. Key requirements:

    * Decent battery life. (Even as old as it is, I still get nearly a week from my dumb phone. OK, I'm not going to match that, but I'm not going to put up with just one day.)

    * Decent sound quality and reception. I assume this is a given nowadays. but it pays to mention these things.

    * Readable screen. I'm getting long-sighted in my old age and need reading glasses. Bigger is better (within reason - I'm not going to carry a baby tablet around in my pocket.)

    * Sensible cost. I have zero interest in spending more than .. oh ... let's say $250 US.

    * Usable keyboard. It doesn't have to be a physical keyboard BlackBerry style, but I'm damned if I'll put up with anything non-qwerty or too small to use easily. I use Gboard on my tablet, which is fine, but I often see tiddly little virtual keyboards on people's phones that are way too fiddly to be practical. Presumably, this is really just a combination of physical screen size and software. I mention it because I have a very small smartphone (never been connected to the phone networks) which I bought purely for testing websites, and it is truly horrible to use. .... Pause while I look for it to find out what it is. Amazingly, I found it straight away on top of the fridge where I left it last time I used it, which would be a year or so back .... It's a Samsung Galaxy T1 Mini. Maybe I could just find a better keyboard to load onto that and save the $250. But my memory of it was that it was truly horrible to use for anyone over the age of 7 with normal-sized fingers. (Tea could use it if she wasn't always drunk.)

    I like the notion that Blackberry actually thinks about usability and even issues regular security updates, so an old, cheap BlackBerry might be a possibility. I also like Lenovo products (such as my tablet).

    Oh. What apps do I want to run? Well, none to speak of, outside a browser. No intention of using it for email or photographs or any of the BS people use phones for these days, just voice calls, the odd text, and once in a while the web to look at a map or find something out.

    (I think I might have posted a similar request here three or four years ago. Wound up keeping the dumb phone, of course. Sadly, the old brick isn't going to go much longer.)
    It's only crap after it fails. Until then it is the performance deal of the moment. - Dave

  2. #2
    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    Most of the smartphones have poor sound quality since there is very little space dedicated to the speaker. Only the camera or two are important.
    --Lunar

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    Not really a Hairy Aussie
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    Most of the smartphones have poor sound quality since there is very little space dedicated to the speaker.
    I haven't found that to be true at all. Of course it all depends what you are referring to by "sound quality". Their speaker phones tend to be quite good because of the emphasis they all have in media playback through the same external speaker. If you're talking about call audio quality to the person on the other end, well that depends on a lot of other factors.

  4. #4
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    It sounds like Tannin doesn't want a dump phone since he's after a qwerty keyboard.

  5. #5
    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    Not many years ago I searched reviews and found precious little on sound quality from the loudspeakers. I hope he finds one with good sound.
    I gave up and use the BlueTooth for conversations lasting more than a few minutes.
    --Lunar

  6. #6
    Storage? I am Storage! Tannin's Avatar
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    I meant sound quality using the phone normally. Don't care about speakerphone, I never use it. My guess is that most phones are perfectly OK for both local and remote user, but in the end, the reason I'm getting rid of my existing phone is because of poor sound quality. (Not that there ever used to be anything wrong with it, it's just got old and tired.)
    (Not like me.)
    (Obviously.)
    It's only crap after it fails. Until then it is the performance deal of the moment. - Dave

  7. #7
    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    I meant sound quality using the phone normally. Don't care about speakerphone, I never use it. My guess is that most phones are perfectly OK for both local and remote user, but in the end, the reason I'm getting rid of my existing phone is because of poor sound quality. (Not that there ever used to be anything wrong with it, it's just got old and tired.)
    (Not like me.)
    (Obviously.)
    IDK. I've only had 4 smartphones and used 3 others, but none sounded good like my old flip phone. Any degradation of the signal and lower bitrate is a different issue.
    --Lunar

  8. #8
    NVIDIA> AMD Fixture Handruin's Avatar
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    Your first requirement may be a deal breaker for most if not all modern smart phones. Without connecting a very large external battery, most last about a day maybe two if you're lucky.

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    My Moto G5S+ can probably last a week with very light use on a single charge.

  10. #10
    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    I have an older phone (G4) with removable battery. I was able to buy a double-capacity battery and matching back. The battery life is proportionately longer. I don't know if there are many options for that in 2018.
    --Lunar

  11. #11
    NVIDIA> AMD Fixture Handruin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    My Moto G5S+ can probably last a week with very light use on a single charge.
    Do you...like, turn the phone off in-between using it each time? Very light usage must be really light. Having this phone last a week with a 3,000mAh battery and a Snapdragon 625 seems like a rarity. Do you have a Gsam chart you can post with a week's usage?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Do you...like, turn the phone off in-between using it each time? Very light usage must be really light. Having this phone last a week with a 3,000mAh battery and a Snapdragon 625 seems like a rarity. Do you have a Gsam chart you can post with a week's usage?
    Well, it's possible that the battery gauge is lying to me. It indicates the phone uses about 10% of the charge per day sitting (powered up with the radios [cellular / wifi] on). I haven't tried to actually use it for a week without charging it. I charge it daily for about 10 minutes in my car on the drive to work and that's it. It generally gains about 10% during the drive.

    Edit: I had 86% battery when I walked into the office this morning a few minutes before 9:30am. As of 5pm it's at 82% and I did some texting / Google hangout messaging around noon. So it's not completely idle.

    I just took this:

    Screenshot_20180510-165531.png

    Click for full size.

    So I'm not completely making stuff up here... I admit I've not had another modern smart phone that appears to have battery life like this one. Certainly not the LG G4 I had before or the Samsung S8 I have as my work phone.

  13. #13
    NVIDIA> AMD Fixture Handruin's Avatar
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    That's impressive. I've not seen a modern smart phone with that kind of battery life. I looked at the same screen in my LG G6 and it says 17:53 (hh:mm) for estimated battery life.

  14. #14
    Hairy Aussie timwhit's Avatar
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    Is your Moto brand new?

  15. #15
    Learning Storage Performance
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    I think it probably comes down to the software. Motorola is good about not preloading the phone with a bunch of garbage. Without all that stuff constantly checking in it might make a big difference. That combined with the display not being on a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timwhit View Post
    Is your Moto brand new?
    It's about 6 month old.

    I haven't charged it any since yesterday morning. It says I have 74% battery left.

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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    How many hours on the bowser and texting?
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  18. #18
    Storage? I am Storage! Tannin's Avatar
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    Interesting that you mention the Motorola G5S Stereodude. My own research has identified it as perhaps the second-best smartphone around. (For a given value of "best" - in my case that means things like long battery life and sensible price. I can think of lots of things to do with $900, and none of them have anything to do with telephones.)

    This link is typical of a number of broadly similar ones: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-...ralia-for-2017

    On the whole, I'm leaning towards the Huawei Y7, largely on the strength of superior battery life, though in the Motorola's favour is my well-founded love of Lenovo products. The G5S also has a higher-resolution screen. On the other hand, I note that they don't seem to be shipping it with higher-resolution eyes, which is really a non-optional extra for those of us pushing 60.
    It's only crap after it fails. Until then it is the performance deal of the moment. - Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    As of 5pm it's at 82%...
    Five days later without charging it and I'm at 35%.

  20. #20
    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    My wife and I have just gone through choosing new handsets (replacing our current Sony Z3C's), so this thread was of some interest. (We both don't see the point in spending $$$ on a device).

    The only hard requirements, are that the handset is hearing aid compatible (my wife now wears hearing aids) and had a decent camera (we've using our phones as P&S camera replacements).

    The really, really hard bit was the first one... Whilst the FCC in the US mandates that all manufacturers and carriers provide a HAC (Hearing Aid Compatible) list, there is no such requirement here in Oz. (And since we get different revisions of the handsets, we can't rely on the US lists)... In the end our shortlist came down to 2 handsets, the Moto G5S+ and the Sony XA2. (Nokia, Oppo, Huawei, ZTE don't provide HAC support). HTC does on top end handsets, but only 1 in the price range, and that model gets very poor reviews (very poor battery life)... We did contact LG support to determine which of their handsets were HAC, but none of their tier 1 or tier 2 support could tell us, and we haven't heard back after 3 enquires (2 email and 1 phone) to their Australian head office over 2 weeks ago. (We don't do Apple or Samsung).

    We ended up going with the XA2 primarily due to the higher HAC rating and higher-res camera over the G5S+.

    * HAC support requires the handset provide Telecoill (T-Coil) functionality to a minimum M3/T3 standard. (M4/T4 being the highest/best support).
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handruin View Post
    Do you...like, turn the phone off in-between using it each time? Very light usage must be really light. Having this phone last a week with a 3,000mAh battery and a Snapdragon 625 seems like a rarity. Do you have a Gsam chart you can post with a week's usage?
    Well, my 168 hour challenge is complete. I started with 86% battery and ended with 18%. The cellular and WiFi radio were on the whole time. Bluetooth and location services were not.

    Screenshot_20180517-093926.png

  22. #22
    NVIDIA> AMD Fixture Handruin's Avatar
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    I'm impressed. I've not seen a modern smart phone capable of that kind of battery life. Thanks for doing the test.

  23. #23
    Storage? I am Storage! sechs's Avatar
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    I feel like this is only a question of optimization.

    I can already go two days of regular use on my phone before needing a charge. If I turned off the GPS and some of apps that run in the background, I could probably stretch that out to three or four days. I could probably gain a day just by surfing the web on my desktop instead.

    If you run stock Android and are judicious about what you install, turn on, and do, the phone spends most of its power working on being a phone -- which doesn't take that much.
    It's not what you know, but who you know.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sechs View Post
    I feel like this is only a question of optimization.

    I can already go two days of regular use on my phone before needing a charge. If I turned off the GPS and some of apps that run in the background, I could probably stretch that out to three or four days. I could probably gain a day just by surfing the web on my desktop instead.

    If you run stock Android and are judicious about what you install, turn on, and do, the phone spends most of its power working on being a phone -- which doesn't take that much.
    Get back to us in 168 hours and let us know how it went.

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